Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Healthy skepticism of ALL worldviews is good. Skeptical of non-belief like found in Atheism? Post your challenging questions. Responses are encouraged.
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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby RickD » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:30 pm

Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Kenny wrote:Abstract thoughts only exist in your head, they are figments of your imagination; they don't have an actual existence.

Ken


Thoughts don't exist ??

As I said; they only exist as a figment of your imagination.

Ken

Then How exactly does imagination exist in a materialistic world?

Imagination exist only in the context of human thought. They don't have an existence by themselves.

K

So, thoughts/imagination are immaterial?
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby RickD » Thu Sep 28, 2017 12:33 pm

Hortator wrote:Is Kenny getting closer to finding God? I think so. There's only so many straws you can grasp before you have to give up on your past grudges and move forward.

We're all getting closer to "finding" God. Find Him now, or when you die. FYI, it's a lot better to "find" God now.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby Kenny » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:09 pm

RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:
Thoughts don't exist ??

As I said; they only exist as a figment of your imagination.

Ken

Then How exactly does imagination exist in a materialistic world?

Imagination exist only in the context of human thought. They don't have an existence by themselves.

K

So, thoughts/imagination are immaterial?

Yes.

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby RickD » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:00 pm

Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:As I said; they only exist as a figment of your imagination.

Ken

Then How exactly does imagination exist in a materialistic world?

Imagination exist only in the context of human thought. They don't have an existence by themselves.

K

So, thoughts/imagination are immaterial?

Yes.

How's that reconciled with materialism?
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby Kenny » Thu Sep 28, 2017 5:09 pm

RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:
Kenny wrote:
RickD wrote:Then How exactly does imagination exist in a materialistic world?

Imagination exist only in the context of human thought. They don't have an existence by themselves.

K

So, thoughts/imagination are immaterial?

Yes.

How's that reconciled with materialism?

I don’t believe thoughts have an actual existence like material things do, they only exist as a part of material things (people and animals) Is there something that does exist by itself that is not material? I don’t know. There could be some currently unknown thing that exist somewhere in the Universe that if mankind discovered it, they would not classify it as material. But until it is discovered, I won’t claim they do exist or don’t exist. I guess it depends on how material is defined. Now because I refuse to assert that non material things have an actual existence by itself, if this makes me a materialist, I hope the above explanation clears things up a bit on how I am a materialist.

Ken

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby neo-x » Fri Sep 29, 2017 10:00 pm

Thoughts exist only because of neural synapses. A very material thing, a real physical thing. When a single neuron fires, a thousand other fire with it, this collective trigger is called a thought. Without this, there are no thoughts. It is a very platonist thing to say that thoughts exist the same way a rock or a brick exists but in a non-physical reality devoid of space and time.
Thoughts may exist the same way electromagnetism exists, it is invisible yet exist entire in a physical space and time. But are thoughts immaterial in the same sense as God is immaterial? - is a mere supposition.

Thoughts exist in a physical world only. God is the only true immaterial being there is and even God can't have thoughts - as he can't imagine anything - all things being fully actualized in himself by his very nature. So if by immaterial we actually mean God (and God can't think of anything immaterial), then it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby Philip » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:12 am

...it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.


So, we're right back to the ultimate question: Where did the physical/material elements of the world come from? They did not create themselves.

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby RickD » Sat Sep 30, 2017 6:25 am

neo-x wrote:Thoughts exist only because of neural synapses. A very material thing, a real physical thing. When a single neuron fires, a thousand other fire with it, this collective trigger is called a thought. Without this, there are no thoughts. It is a very platonist thing to say that thoughts exist the same way a rock or a brick exists but in a non-physical reality devoid of space and time.
Thoughts may exist the same way electromagnetism exists, it is invisible yet exist entire in a physical space and time. But are thoughts immaterial in the same sense as God is immaterial? - is a mere supposition.

Thoughts exist in a physical world only. God is the only true immaterial being there is and even God can't have thoughts - as he can't imagine anything - all things being fully actualized in himself by his very nature. So if by immaterial we actually mean God (and God can't think of anything immaterial), then it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.

Neo,

Where do you think thoughts come from?
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby neo-x » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:43 am

RickD wrote:
neo-x wrote:Thoughts exist only because of neural synapses. A very material thing, a real physical thing. When a single neuron fires, a thousand other fire with it, this collective trigger is called a thought. Without this, there are no thoughts. It is a very platonist thing to say that thoughts exist the same way a rock or a brick exists but in a non-physical reality devoid of space and time.
Thoughts may exist the same way electromagnetism exists, it is invisible yet exist entire in a physical space and time. But are thoughts immaterial in the same sense as God is immaterial? - is a mere supposition.

Thoughts exist in a physical world only. God is the only true immaterial being there is and even God can't have thoughts - as he can't imagine anything - all things being fully actualized in himself by his very nature. So if by immaterial we actually mean God (and God can't think of anything immaterial), then it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.

Neo,

Where do you think thoughts come from?

Sensory experience.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby neo-x » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:45 am

Philip wrote:
...it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.


So, we're right back to the ultimate question: Where did the physical/material elements of the world come from? They did not create themselves.

While that can be debated, I am not saying that. My post was simply aimed at the notion that thoughts are purely immaterial things. They aren't.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby RickD » Sat Sep 30, 2017 7:52 am

neo-x wrote:
RickD wrote:
neo-x wrote:Thoughts exist only because of neural synapses. A very material thing, a real physical thing. When a single neuron fires, a thousand other fire with it, this collective trigger is called a thought. Without this, there are no thoughts. It is a very platonist thing to say that thoughts exist the same way a rock or a brick exists but in a non-physical reality devoid of space and time.
Thoughts may exist the same way electromagnetism exists, it is invisible yet exist entire in a physical space and time. But are thoughts immaterial in the same sense as God is immaterial? - is a mere supposition.

Thoughts exist in a physical world only. God is the only true immaterial being there is and even God can't have thoughts - as he can't imagine anything - all things being fully actualized in himself by his very nature. So if by immaterial we actually mean God (and God can't think of anything immaterial), then it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.

Neo,

Where do you think thoughts come from?

Sensory experience.

Really? I would've thought that you would suggest that thoughts come from the mind. You know, we're sentient beings with a mind. Sensory experience makes it sound like humans are nothing more than physical beings, and everything we do is just a result of physical reactions that our senses pick up.
1 Corinthians 1:9
9 God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Audie wrote:
"Christianity is not a joke, but it has some very poor representatives."


St. Richard the Sarcastic--The Patron Saint of Irony

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby neo-x » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:37 pm

RickD wrote:
neo-x wrote:
RickD wrote:
neo-x wrote:Thoughts exist only because of neural synapses. A very material thing, a real physical thing. When a single neuron fires, a thousand other fire with it, this collective trigger is called a thought. Without this, there are no thoughts. It is a very platonist thing to say that thoughts exist the same way a rock or a brick exists but in a non-physical reality devoid of space and time.
Thoughts may exist the same way electromagnetism exists, it is invisible yet exist entire in a physical space and time. But are thoughts immaterial in the same sense as God is immaterial? - is a mere supposition.

Thoughts exist in a physical world only. God is the only true immaterial being there is and even God can't have thoughts - as he can't imagine anything - all things being fully actualized in himself by his very nature. So if by immaterial we actually mean God (and God can't think of anything immaterial), then it's painfully obvious that thoughts are a product of a physical world, after all. They don't exist in the immaterial.

Neo,

Where do you think thoughts come from?

Sensory experience.

Really? I would've thought that you would suggest that thoughts come from the mind. You know, we're sentient beings with a mind. Sensory experience makes it sound like humans are nothing more than physical beings, and everything we do is just a result of physical reactions that our senses pick up.


Our mind reacts to certain things via our sensory experience. Alone, a mind can think of nothing. For example, if someone doesn't have any of the sensory organs that humans have, plus no brain to store them, they will not have any thoughts, e.g. stones. What you refer to "mind" is just a massive data centre for all the sensory data the brain has to work and categorize with learning.

That is why even animals, who don't have the same brain functions as humans, still can have thoughts precisely because they have sensory input, they can mourn, show love and affection, friendship, bonding, social understanding of power hierarchies within their own species, differentiate between offsprings, mates and pride members, excitement, aggressiveness, irritation, can make distinct sounds that carry off as signals and calls, birds and whale songs come to mind, can coordinate via body language and eye contact, can deceive, ambush, do group attacks and coordinate teamwork either as predator or prey, have a sense of belonging and territory.

That is why a person who is blind and deaf and can't feel with his skin - can't conceive a circle because there is no sensory data to show that such a geometrical shape exists. Whereas someone who can't see but can touch and feel can still form a rough shape in his mind e.g. take people who read the braille. A person, who can't smell can still taste; a person who can't feel anything but can see or hear can still have an idea. But all of this comes from one sensory experience or the other, if one sensory organ is missing, another one substitutes for it. But take out all and just let the brain be what it is, will result in nothing.

It is, of course, a very hard thing to imagine, because even the hair on our skin acts as a sensory object so therefore, even as a child when you haven't learned what is what, you can still feel safe within the same environment, as your cot, bed, room etc because your skin, your eyes, your ears are still gathering data.

My point is, that without sensory experience there can be no thoughts, hence no abstraction either. This is exactly the reason we can't fathom or understand infinities (if they exist or not is irrelevant), we can't visualize a complete vacuum, nor a quantum particle in two states at the same time, because our "mind" doesn't have the necessary sensory data to understand and categorize these things, so we use artificial methods such as numbers and signs to show what these concepts mean. That is why we visualize an immaterial God, that to even think about him as a spirit or immaterial being still conjures one image or other, even if we don't see him as human, we still associate God as light or blinding white or something but not as nothing because we can't even imagine nothingness. All you can imagine is black, but even black is still black - not nothingness. That is why even when some humans believe that there is a human spirit, only imagining an image of the respective person (a very greek idea btw) that may walk through walls but still an image nonetheless. It is just how the mind copes with things it can't understand via sensory organs so it uses artificial intelligence to solve them, as it can't really understand those things.

And you can verify it by just looking at the human history as a separate way. All of the human inventions have been built on one before. For instance, the man living in caves thought of a circle or a wheel but not of a spaceship, that is why a spear gave way to a sword but not an ICBM. It is impossible to think of things we don't know or understand. That is why outer-earth space flight to Mars was only conceived after the idea of flying and hence air travel and not before, because our minds couldn't conceive of it, even though if thoughts or ideas come from somewhere outside, then it should have been otherwise. And we only ever thought of flying because we saw birds flying.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby PaulSacramento » Mon Oct 02, 2017 6:43 am

Is Sensory experience objective or subjective?

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby neo-x » Mon Oct 02, 2017 10:16 pm

PaulSacramento wrote:Is Sensory experience objective or subjective?

I don't think the question applies really as it has nothing to do with the sensory triggers themselves but your brain's knowledge and interpretation of it. I have addressed this below.

The right question is "How accurate sensory experience is?"
And the answer is, quite accurate, actually.

Exceptions being, we can not see or feel low-frequency radio waves or x-rays naturally but they exist nonetheless. Contrary to that, sharks can detect electromagnetic fields accurately. The bats' sonar paints a sound map quite accurately. However, the things we miss or animals in general miss is only because their respective brain can't process that information. If we were equipped to detect radio waves the same as we see colors, we would be doing that with a fair amount of accuracy to.

There is a highly reasonable amount of accuracy in the sensory experience. That is why the closest you come to "objectivity" is when you gather data from multiple sensory organs and experiences from multiple organisms.

Still, a lot of assumptions have to be made if you are going for such a definitive answer, Paul, such as that brains and sensory organs across various species are the same and interpret things the same way - which they don't. However, within humans, it depends on the nature of the object the sensory experience gets triggered with. Like cutting anyone with a sharp knife will always result in pain, the skin acting as a sensory object. However, if someone is in a coma, that might not work because the brain can't process the information. But if see the moon or the sun, your sensory experience is quite accurate. On the other hand, if you are blind, you can still feel the sun, but not the moon.

In simple words, sensory experiences don't lie, that is provided that they work normally as to their intended purposes. The human brain may not interpret it properly. For example, if you electrocute a small child, even for a mere second, the child's sensory experience will immediately tell him that something is wrong and the child will react accordingly in pain and shock, but the child is incapable of knowing what electrocuted him because of his lack of knowledge.
People treat facts as relevant more when the facts tend to support their opinions. When the facts are against their opinions, they don't necessarily deny the facts, but they say the facts are less relevant or insignificant. This is ofcourse because believing things that make you feel comfortable, takes a priority. And I think that should not be the case if one is after truth.

http://johnadavid.wordpress.com

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Re: Nature of Reality: A Challenge to Atheists

Postby PaulSacramento » Tue Oct 03, 2017 6:14 am

neo-x wrote:
PaulSacramento wrote:Is Sensory experience objective or subjective?

I don't think the question applies really as it has nothing to do with the sensory triggers themselves but your brain's knowledge and interpretation of it. I have addressed this below.

The right question is "How accurate sensory experience is?"
And the answer is, quite accurate, actually.

Exceptions being, we can not see or feel low-frequency radio waves or x-rays naturally but they exist nonetheless. Contrary to that, sharks can detect electromagnetic fields accurately. The bats' sonar paints a sound map quite accurately. However, the things we miss or animals in general miss is only because their respective brain can't process that information. If we were equipped to detect radio waves the same as we see colors, we would be doing that with a fair amount of accuracy to.

There is a highly reasonable amount of accuracy in the sensory experience. That is why the closest you come to "objectivity" is when you gather data from multiple sensory organs and experiences from multiple organisms.

Still, a lot of assumptions have to be made if you are going for such a definitive answer, Paul, such as that brains and sensory organs across various species are the same and interpret things the same way - which they don't. However, within humans, it depends on the nature of the object the sensory experience gets triggered with. Like cutting anyone with a sharp knife will always result in pain, the skin acting as a sensory object. However, if someone is in a coma, that might not work because the brain can't process the information. But if see the moon or the sun, your sensory experience is quite accurate. On the other hand, if you are blind, you can still feel the sun, but not the moon.

In simple words, sensory experiences don't lie, that is provided that they work normally as to their intended purposes. The human brain may not interpret it properly. For example, if you electrocute a small child, even for a mere second, the child's sensory experience will immediately tell him that something is wrong and the child will react accordingly in pain and shock, but the child is incapable of knowing what electrocuted him because of his lack of knowledge.


So, you can trust your sense 100%


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